An increasing amount of attention from all the corners of the globe has been given to NY Fashion Week in the past 3 years, and China is no exception.
Despite the 12-hour time difference, coverage was abundant across many channels of Chinese media during New York Fashion Week as the latest updates from the Big Apple were delivered to Chinese from celebrities, fashion editors and major fashion websites in China.
During the recent New York Fashion Week, some global brands invited Chinese celebrities to share the front row seats with familiar faces such as Victoria Beckham and David Beckham, Catherine Zeta-Jones and Michael Douglas. It’s no coincidence that lending this level of “face” to closely followed Chinese celebrities resulted in hundreds of thousands of messages being shared on Weibo.
Yao Chen is a popular Chinese actress. She became famous for her popular role in the 2005 hit Chinese sitcom TV show “My Own Swordsman”. However, it is Weibo where she became a powerful opinion leader – up to date, she’s the top Weibo personality who has 24,535,396 followers and the fanbase is still growing. She recently posted a series of pictures of her visit to NYC and of course, her pictures with Vera Wang in the backstage of the show caught a lot of readers’ eyes. Her name and the pictures of her fierce red lips became a sensational headline in Chinese magazines and newspaper as Chinese journalists see her as the new role model rising a new wave of Chinese powerful female image splashing on the international stage.
“The wedding gown queen Vera Wang is such an outstanding Chinese designer,” captions Yao Chen on a picture of her and Vera Wang, “she is small in person but so cool-looking. She looks like a little princess – with pride and innocence. Each wedding gown of hers is art, carrying the ultimate dreams of every woman.”
This one single Weibo post has been shared 7,259 times and generated 1,935 comments by her followers.
“Vera Wang is my dream!” comment her Weibo followers. “Her life is more inspiring than her clothes – Vera Wang is my role model of being an independent woman and pursuing the dreams,” states another follower.
Zhang Zilin is a former model and became a household name in China by winning the 57th Miss World in 2007. She is the first Chinese woman to win first place of the world-class pageant in history. Her Weibo has 2,376,579 followers and she recently posted pictures of her attending the Michael Kors show and Tory Burch show during New York Fashion Week. She has worn 6 outfits during the 4-day long stay in New York and each Weibo post has a picture of her in a difference dress.
Donna Karan and Michael Kors adored her and she certainly reciprocated the courtesy as one can see from her Weibo posts:
“I’m in a Donna Karan dress today – beautiful silhouette and gorgeous cutting – love!”
“Michael Kors is one of the most anticipated shows at NYFW. Cutting is simple but sharp. Colors are strong and bright. Love.”
The comments by her Chinese followers show that Michael Kors and Donna Karan as brands are still not well-known brands yet but some young Chinese fashion enthusiasts recognize them and are unreservedly spreading their knowledge to a broader circle:
“Ah this show is the one designed by that judge in Project Runway! I like his design.”
“Donna Karan, the New York style! Who doesn’t love?!”
You may recognize Shang Wenjie as a famous singer, but she is also known by her interpretation skills before her singing career. She was one of Shanghai’s top Chinese-French interpreters before she competed in 2006 Super Girl singing contest and won the first place. Thanks to her fluency in English, French and Spanish, she sings many foreign songs and became a desired spokesperson perfectly fit for many global brands. She currently has 1,666,433 followers on Weibo, and with no exception, she recently posted her experience attending the Y-3 runway show at NYFW.
“LOVE Y-3 NYFW!” – a simple post with a picture she took with her phone at the Y-3
Comments show her followers’ passion in supporting her and the fact that more Chinese celebrities have a presence in international fashion community nowadays:
“Go beyond the national border! Show yourself!”
“It looks like a great show! I saw a picture of you and David Beckham!”
Li Chen is currently a hot star in China thank to his role in the 2012 hit TV series “Beijing Youth”. His fame also comes from 5 major Chinese movies he starred in the recent 5 years. The 5,025,854 followers on his Weibo show how much attention he is given. Although part of his followers followed him for a different reason – he had an incident 2 weeks ago, telling his current girlfriend in public on Weibo that how special a heart shaped stone is to give as a gift, and it represents how special his current girlfriend is to him, while later he was exposed to have given all his 6 girlfriends in history the same gift (a heart shaped stone). The incident became the laughing stock of Weibo and “a heart-shaped stone” became an internet meme for Chinese youth.
He recently posted multiple Weibo posts showcasing the backstage of the Tommy Hilfiger show at NYFW.
“The backstage is like a preppy club while the front stage is filled with sporty badges and Grand Prix grids. This season’s Tommy Hilfiger showcases the perfect combination of tradition and innovation.”
The Weibo post was reposted for 1,928 times and comments are flooding in
“This is the brand I saw a couple of days ago in a department store in Shanghai! Are you their spokesperson now?”
“I just purchased a Tommy shirt today!”
Mo Xiaoqi, a.k.a. Chinese Lola, became popular and well-known in China thanks to the hit TV series “Beijing Love Story”. She’s also the winner of Miss Australian Chinese. To date her Weibo has 783,657 followers and she posted pictures of her at DKNY show NYFW on Weibo. Her outfit and accessories were complimented by many of her followers on Weibo. During NY Fashion Week, she attended DKNY show as well as the Lacoste show.
During New York Fashion Week, many Chinese journalists angled their stories at the Chinese faces at fashion shows. On the largest fashion news website, Yoka.com, the two feature stories in the central top section on the front page are Vivienne Tam and Vera Wang (see attached screenshot). The second section features Marchesa, Michael Kors, Marc by Marc Jacobs, Rachel Zoe, Sophie Theallet and Bibhu Mohapatra. Among them, Marchesa and Michael Kors have bigger coverage. On Weibo, the freelance writer for Vogue, Ed Wei, live reported each single show where Chinese models are present. She took photos of each Chinese model and “at”-ed the models on Weibo captioning the pictures with the designers’ names.
China Luxury Network Tip:
Given that over 50% of luxury goods purchased by Chinese is bought while they’re traveling overseas. Is your brand paying attention to Chinese consumers during fashion weeks in New York, London, Paris and Milan? It should because there are millions that are paying attention to the shows. Thanks to the power of social media in China, a few invited Chinese celebrities with millions of Weibo followers in attendance at your Fashion Week events combined with Chinese journalists covering Fashion Week from a Chinese perspective can make a huge impact on your brand in China.